Removing Rust on a Refrigerator

April 19, 2016

Our fridge has the ice dispenser and water dispenser in the door. It's nearly 16 years old, so I'm sure it will have to be replaced in the next few years. We replaced the ice maker by buying one on eBay and watching a YouTube for instructions. It was super easy. I could have done it, but I let my husband feel like "Super Handyman."


This past year, I noticed tiny rust spots down the front, under the dispensers. Thinking it was spots, I tried to wash them away, only to make them bigger. I got some appliance paint, which helped a little, but soon it wore off.

Because of the age of the fridge, I just didn't want to put a lot of money into fixing it, so I found a roll of white, dry-erase Contact paper. I covered the door from the dispenser area down to the bottom and, unless you really look closely, you can't tell it's not the original finish. For fun, I've been writing on it in colored dry-erase markers.

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7 Questions

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January 14, 2014

I have a 15 year old Kenmore side-by-side refrigerator which I moved to the garage a couple of years ago when we got a new fridge for the kitchen. We live in Florida during the winter months and up north during the summer months.

When we go north, we empty and unplug the fridges. The one in the garage has come out with what looks like a rust stain covering most of the freezer door, and there is now some forming on the fridge door, but not as much.


I have tried cleaning the stain with an auto cleaner, some bleach and water, and some vinegar and water. The auto cleaner does the best job, but I can't quite get all the stain out, even with a lot of elbow grease. A couple of days later the stain is back as bad as ever. The finish is the pebbly kind where you don't leave fingerprints.

The garage has no AC and it gets pretty hot in there in the summer, although there were no stains on the doors when we returned this fall (2013), at least not that we noticed. The stains have developed since we returned. Does this sound like rust? Any suggestions for a product to clean it and protect it? Thanks.

By HB from Mount Dora, FL


January 19, 20140 found this helpful

Barkeepers Friend is a brand I use on rust, on any surface, even fabric. Should work well made into a paste, allow to sit a bit, then elbow grease. Barkeepers Friend is near comet, etc.

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October 27, 20160 found this helpful

how to get rust off a freezer door

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November 21, 2014

How do I remove rust off the outside of a fridge door?

By Maxine


Silver Post Medal for All Time! 255 Posts
December 5, 20170 found this helpful

Try using Naval Jelly. Auto supply stores carry it.

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Gold Post Medal for All Time! 677 Posts
December 5, 20170 found this helpful

Rust-x is a product that dissloves rust

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June 13, 2012

My refrigerator has the no finger print material on the front. It has this yellow rust-like stain on it. I have tried different products to remove it and it does not come off. Any ideas?

By Connie from Miami, FL


June 13, 20120 found this helpful

I had that same problem years ago with a textured finish refrigerator. Back then, I ended up buying contact paper the same color (almond) as the fridge, and covering the front. It blended in very well and lived like that until the fridge finally died. Today, there are people who refinish large appliances, and that might be an option for you if you are planning on keeping it for some time. Also I noted on the Internet that there is material that you can apply to your fridge to make it look like it's stainless steel. There are paint kits for DIY.


Hope that helps.

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January 15, 2012

How do I clean rust off the outside of the fridge door?

By Cindy


January 17, 20120 found this helpful

I would try one of the erasing sponges...should work. Then apply a bit of 'white out' or an auto paint pen paint! Good luck

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February 13, 2011

Can rust on a refrigerator door just below the icemaker/water dispenser be repaired? The refrigerator is white.

By Buz from Washington, DC


February 13, 20110 found this helpful

I've recently saw "appliance" paint and it comes in fairly small containers, so you don't have to buy a gallon of it. Rust is oxidation, so to try and remove it will probably leave a "mark". Once you remove the rusty spot, which you "might" have to do if it's rough, or the area won't be smooth, you might benefit by painting the spot with the appliance repair paint.


If it's smooth already, you might even be able to paint right over the rust spot. I've never used this appliance paint, so I'm sorry I can't say if it works well or not.

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January 15, 2014

Stains on Refrigerator DoorsI have a Kenmore side-by-side refrigerator 15 years old. A couple of years ago I moved the fridge to the garage when we got a new one for the kitchen.

In the last month I noticed that there was an orange stain forming on the doors, primarily on the freezer side. I have tried cleaning the doors with an auto cleaner, bleach and water, and vinegar and water. The auto cleaner seems to work best, but even that didn't get all the stain out, and after a couple of days the stain was back as bad as ever. The finish is the pebbly kind designed to hide finger prints.


The home is in Florida where we spend the winter months. When we head north in the spring, we clean out the fridges and pull the plugs on them. The garage is not air conditioned, so it is probably pretty hot out there in the summer time when we are not here.

We didn't notice the stains when we first got here this fall (2013), but we first noticed them after we had been back here a month or two and the fridges were back running again. Could these be rust stains? Any suggestions on how to rid the fridge doors of the stains?

Thanks, HB

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